I spent last weekend in Cincinnati visiting my sister and brother-in-law. And of course I started talking to them about social media and Web 2.0 and how it is impacting the 2008 election. My brother-in-law told me it wasn’t because no one looks at it. “How is social media going to affect me if I don’t look at it?”
Well, let me tell you. Whether you realize it or not, some form of social media has touched your life. Do you have a social network account on Facebook or MySpace? Do you ever look at blogs, message boards or go into chat-rooms? Have you visited the USA TODAY Web site (even if it’s just to do the crossword puzzles)? Have you ever been to Wikipedia? Do you watch videos on YouTube?
If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, you are one of the millions of people who have come in contact with social media.
But, what exactly is social media?
Social media is “online technologies and practices that people use to share content, opinions, insights, experiences, perspectives and media.” But that’s just according to Wikipedia, a form of social media.
Facebook alone has more than 39 million active users. And there are pages and pages and pages of groups devoted to politics. And that number is growing due to the 2008 presidential election being right around the corner. And as far as MySpace goes, I’ve heard numbers as high as 100 million users, but that’s quick to be debated.
Each of these social networking sites offer many different features associated with campaigning. Facebook has applications where users select the candidates they support, there are groups dedicated to the campaigns and many of the candidates even have Facebook or MySpace pages.
The humane society used social media to reach new audiences and increase fundraising, the same tactics work for a political campaign.
The facts are in. People look at this stuff. So kudos to all the presidential candidates out there who have MySpace pages and interact with their online “friends”… and the ones who don’t may want to rethink their strategies….